Horror remakes are always going to be controversial affairs, especially when the original is as beloved a flick as Dario Argento’s Suspiria. The 1977 Italian cult classic is a spellbinding and nightmarish immersion of the senses that would be tough for anybody to top, even a director as renowned as Call Me by Your Name helmsman Luca Guadagnino.
The filmmaker recently went on record expressing his desire for this latest work to be “a relentless experience that’s going to go deep into your skin all the way down into your spine,” and even more ominously, “the most disturbing experience you can have.” Based on the first reactions received by the movie at its Venice International Film Festival premiere, Guadagnino may have succeeded in his endeavor, for better or worse.
Just take the following tweet from Deadline’s Andreas Wiseman, which reports on the divided reception, consisting of both boos and applause.
Press screening response to Suspiria exactly as expected. Applause but also some whistles and boos. A number I spoke to said they enjoyed it. ‘Crazy, interesting, beautiful, very different from the original.’ Others turned off. Polarizing. pic.twitter.com/mRKdmkuck4
— Andreas Wiseman (@AndreasWiseman) September 1, 2018
As you can see, Andreas was ultimately positive in his personal assessment, as is this other user who backs up the report of Suspiria’s polarizing effect, which apparently had some people walking out of the theater.
so apparently #Suspiria got boos, claps, walkouts and whistles. The best movie of all time has arrived.
— ahmed (@witnessxo) September 1, 2018
As for how closely the new film sticks to the template of the original, it’s said that Guadagnino’s effort diverges strongly from Argento’s work, and Lorenzo Ciorcalo here considers this a plus.
#Venezia75 #Suspiria Brilliant! Not even remotely a remake, this is a radical reframing. Guadagnino grounds the abstractionism of the original in a post-war modern crucible. Last act orgasmic and Dakota has never been so glorious.
— Lorenzo Ciorcalo (@rotovisor) September 1, 2018
This last user seems to agree that the movie does hew too closely to the original, while giving special mention to lead actress Dakota Johnson.
Two quick non-spoilery thoughts about Suspiria. 1) I thought more about 70s Eurohorror in general (Rollin, Kümel, even Franco) than I did Dario Argento and giallo. 2) Can Dakota Johnson be in everything now? #VeniceFilmFestival
— Damon Wise (@yo_damo) September 1, 2018
From the sounds of things, this particular Suspiria is turning out to be a love-it-or-hate-it sort of deal. And you can decide for yourself whether you side with the positive tweets or the booing crowd when the film comes out on October 26th.